Woon Wei Jong

Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao

Wei Jong joined Shin Min Daily in 2000, then Lianhe Wanbao in 2007. In 2017, he joined SPH's Chinese Media Group Newshub, contributing articles to Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao on society, politics, policies, and current affairs, as well as big reads and special reports. Before becoming a journalist, he was a researcher and editor at two social services organisations.

People wave flags at the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's pre-election campaign rally ahead of mayoral elections in Taipei, Taiwan, 12 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s mayoral race will impact 2024 presidential election

With Taiwan’s “nine-in-one” local elections just days away, political parties are ramping up their campaign rallies, with the mayoral race tightening in key battlegrounds of Taoyuan, Taipei and Hsinchu, and implications for the presidential race at stake.
A man runs to find a cover during the air-raid exercise named Wan An, an annual 30-minute drill, a reminder of rising Chinese military threat, during which all vehicles are ordered to move to the sides of roads and pedestrians to wait in back streets in Taipei, Taiwan, 25 July 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan: A runway for great powers to flex their muscles?   

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan is setting the stage for a political and military tussle between China and the US. With the risk of a “Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis” looming, Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong speaks to academics to find out the possible outcomes.
People line up to get a Covid-19 test at a newly set up drive-through site at Liberty Square in Taipei, Taiwan, 20 May 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The pandemic is affecting Taipei's mayoral election

Taipei's mayoral race is heating up amid the severe Covid-19 outbreak. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party is having a headache as its potential candidate Chen Shih-chung, who is also the commander of the Central Epidemic Command Center, is suffering from a slide in popularity due to his seemingly lousy performance at containing the pandemic in Taiwan. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong assesses the situation.
As Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025, what is the plight of the elderly destitute in an ageing Taiwan?

Growing old alone: Elderly poor want better housing, better care in Taiwan

Taiwan is set to become a super-aged society in 2025. At present, a considerable proportion of its elderly face poor living conditions, with 430,000 living in old residential buildings without elevator access. There is also a sizeable number of elderly folk who are homeless and living on the streets. What are the authorities doing to meet the living needs of the elderly and provide them with support? How are community groups playing a role?
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and carrying umbrellas walk on the street during a rainy day in Taipei, Taiwan, 26 November 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Is Taiwan moving towards 'living with the virus'?

Taiwan’s efforts in preventing the spread of Covid-19 has been recognised by the international community. However, the prolonged border restriction is beginning to impact its economy and its people. Is the island ready to move on to its next stage of recovery?
Signage for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) at the company's headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on 11 January 2022. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

Why TSMC will stay rooted in Taiwan despite pressure to set up overseas chip factories

While the US and Japan would like TSMC to "spread the risk" of global tech supply chains being hit in the event of cross-strait tensions, TSMC is quite firm on keeping its advanced technologies in Taiwan while going through the motions of setting up some overseas outposts as recommended by its allies. It is well aware of its strategic value and will want to hold on to its upper hand.
Demonstrators take part in a march against nuclear power ahead of a referendum on whether the government should continue building the stalled Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, in Taipei, Taiwan, 5 December 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Taiwanese wavering over referendum on Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

Given Taiwan’s energy needs, the debate over nuclear energy is being revived, with discussions over whether the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City should be resumed. The ruling party DPP is advocating for a “No” vote and the KMT vice versa. But concerns of nuclear safety overshadow the debate and the referendum on 18 Dec, which will be one among four to be held on different issues. The outcome will be telling of the public’s political leanings and prospects for the future of Taiwan’s energy policies.
An algae reef zone is seen before Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrives for an inspection at the coast of the Guanyin district in Taoyuan on 25 November 2021. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan’s algal reef referendum: A proxy for political battle?

The Datan algal reef off Taoyuan in Taiwan is rich with biodiversity, and a natural barrier for Taiwan. However, plans for a third LNG terminal in the area have turned the reef into a political point of contention, with conservationists wanting to protect the reef and the Taiwan government having to consider energy demands. A KMT-supported referendum on whether the terminal should be moved away from the reef, along with three other referendums on pork imports, nuclear power and future referendums, will also be held on 18 December. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong examines the political undertones behind the environmental concerns.
Girls at a rehearsal ahead of the Double Tenth Day celebration in front of presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 October 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Who dictates war and peace in the Taiwan Strait?

Mainland China’s aerial incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone has almost become a regular routine, US warships sail through the Taiwan Strait ever so often while international military drills are conducted from time to time. As Taiwan is increasingly seen as “the most dangerous place on earth", the mainland, the US, and Taiwan are all making political statements against escalation but are preparing for military action just in case. Might conflict erupt as early as 2024? Does the key to solving the Taiwan Strait issue lie with Beijing and Taipei and the larger question of defining the Chinese nation?